Last month I did my first Q&A session. To make it a tradition here is the new edition!

Why do Chinese sites differ their images to the actual product?

Jimmy M. Asked this question in the previous Q&A.

Why do Chinese sites differ their images to the actual product? In my example, one site offered a high-grade LED flashlight. After receiving my package, I noticed a difference in the description on the website to the actual performance of my item.

Great question. Most stores are resellers. They create a catalogue of products, they don’t actually have in stock. Only the very popular items are in stock. All other products are ordered as soon as you set your order.

For example. If you check the processing time at LightInTheBox for LED lighting. The processing time is 10-14 days. Based on this long processing time, you can conclude that LightInthebox has no LED products available themselves. They use another seller/manufactory to deliver these items. Sometimes they have more suppliers available for the same products. This can lead to (hopefully only slightly) different products.

That’s why the images and descriptions of these products are often not accurate.

This problem is even bigger with clothing. On smaller stores you find official catwalk images in stores that certainly do not have all these clothing on stock. For example wedding and gala dresses. These dresses will be made based on the original images.

Can you tell me where to buy air conditioners, refrigerators, Onkio receivers, high heels, plus sizes, Gucci bags, Weaves, Brazillian, Peruvian and Russian, Mongolian hair, Samsung TV sets

wigsbuySorry folks, I can’t…

On a daily base people ask me where to find specific products. Products I never look for myself. I hope you understand it is impossible for me to do the searching for you.

On the Chinese stores list you can find over 100 Chinese stores. These are systemized in general categories. It is a great place to start. You’ll even find WigsBuy here…

One more thing on bigger electronic products like refrigerators, receivers and TV sets… I never see these products in normal stores. I think the demand is too low or the shipping costs too high. But I do see them on fraudulent sites. So if you find these products, be sure you are dealing with a legitimate store.

Can you verify this site for me, to see it is real?

how to recogize a fake Chinese storeRidvan asked to verify keb2-dot-com. This store is mentioned more often on as a fraudulent site. Don’t buy anything there!

For more information how to recognize fake sites, check these blogs:

Do you buy all over the world?

Jen R. send me the following personal question:

You said you’ve purchased all over the world. What sites did you use for purchasing in places other than China?  I’m interested in India maybe?

Till 2005 I bought mainly in the USA and Latin America. Many sites do not exist anymore or I forget them. Currently I buy only China and European companies (delivery time within 24 hours). AliExpress is one of my favorites too. So is Lightinthebox and DealExtreme. I haven’t bought from India. I haven’t seen interesting stores yet.

How much are the shipping costs to my country?

Is free shipping from china really free?This is another general question that is impossible to answer. And this month alone I got this question three times from different people…

The shipping costs depends on the store or seller you are dealing with. The shipping method you are choosing and the country you are living in. Normally the shipping costs are calculated just before you confirm your orders. You can also contact the store before you order and ask for the specific details.

Take notice that some stores do not give clear information about the shipping costs. It’s not professional. You might be dealing with a fraudulent site…

For more info, visit this blog: free shipping isn’t free.

Do you check the legality of stores and their positive or negative feedbacks?

This great question was sent by Michael N.

I check the legality of all shops on the Chinese store list. If a store is not legal, you will not find it on this list.

But I do not check all these stores for positive or negative feedback.

What I think is more important, is how these stores handle disputes. That’s why I advice to contact a store before you send your order and also during the shipping process. If things are not as expected, you have built a relationships with the store, and disputes are handled more smoothly. I understand shouldn’t be needed, but imagine yourself buying something in a local store. If a product is broken and you go back to complain, you also remind them you spoke to that particular person (pointing at him…). Online you try to build the same ‘relationship’.

Final thoughts

write-for-usI want to thank all contributors for their input. I love to read what keeps you busy or puzzled. If you have a question that you would like to be answered, write a comment in the box below.

I’ll answer it in the next edition of Questions and Answers!

If you think this article was valuable, please press the like button below this line, and share this article with your friends. Thanks!

I wish you safe online purchase!



Founder of StartBuyingInChina. It all started as an hobby. I liked to categorize the few Chinese stores I knew. After 6 years over 150 blogs were published. I created a wonderful online course about Safe buying online in China, and served over 1.000.000 people. Thank you for being here!

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